Posts Tagged ‘Strasburg’

Week In Review – Pineiro, Nats, Sixers

Posted by Kieran Carobine, Sun, January 15, 2012 05:00 PM Comments: 19

UPDATE: According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, the Phillies have signed former Mariner and Cardinal hurler Joel Pineiro to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to Spring Training.


Will Prince Fielder sign in Washington?

When pennant flags are raised in 2015, many people will look back to this offseason as the one that shaped the National League East.  It’s the first one in awhile when such big names are moving simultaneously and at the same position.  Albert Pujols took care of his future already and now Prince Fielder still awaits his fate.

A dark horse in these negotiations could be the Nationals.  They have quietly acquired, ok maybe not so quietly, the top young talent in Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Bryce Harper and made a deal to bring in Jayson Werth for way too much money.  Recently they have been linked to Roy Oswalt, Gio Gonzalez (who they signed) and now apparently talks with Fielder’s agent have started back again.

As I have argued on Twitter (@kierancarobine) in the past weeks signing Fielder does not put the Nationals as favorites for the East.  I honestly think the Phillies still hold that spot but it would make the upcoming seasons that much more interesting.  Once their youthful movement is complete they will be the competing team on top.

Continue reading Week In Review – Pineiro, Nats, Sixers


Free Agent Season Begins Today

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, November 07, 2010 03:00 PM Comments: 40

The five-day grace period given to teams to sign their own free agents has come and gone with very little movement. Today begins unrestricted free agency, and with plenty of fan fare. Jayson Werth, Cliff Lee, and Carl Crawford head a decent class of players looking to cash in on their 2010 season. On this thread we’ll keep you posted on everything happening in the hot stove league.

-Early reports from the New York Post and New York Daily News have the Yankees, of course, going after Rangers starter Cliff Lee. However, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson says Lee will listen to a pitch made by the Washington Nationals. The Nats are longing for an ace with Stephen Strasburg undergoing Tommy John surgery recently. Do the Nationals have what it takes to pry Lee away from the Yankees or Rangers? And how much of a slap in the face would it be if Lee ended up in the NL East with a team other than the Phillies?

-Keith Law has ranked the top 50 FA’s (insider only) hitting the market beginning today and Jayson Werth was placed third behind Lee and Crawford. The question, as we are well aware, is whether or not the Phillies want to pony up near nine figures to keep Werth. Is it worth it to sign a 31 year old outfielder to a five year deal for that kind of dough?

-Early reports have Scott Boras looking for Matt Holliday-type money, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Can’t say we didn’t know that, however, Boras is basically letting it be known on the record what his intentions are for his client. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says five years, $75 million is possible in a contract for Werth, slightly less than what Boras seems to be angling for. Cafardo also says he doesn’t see Boston giving in to the demand for that many years.

-J.C. Romero, Jose Contreras, and Chad Durbin are all free agents. Which will come back? I’ll take a guess and say Romero is all but definitely gone for good. The Phillies feel comfortable with Antonio Bastrado enough to make him the go-to lefty out of the pen. The Contreras/Durbin argument is a toss-up. Do you go with the younger Durbin who has been a bullpen staple for the Phillies over the last three seasons or the older Contreras who had a breakout year as a relief pitcher? Durbin said just after the season ended that the chances of him returning were “50-50.”  Durbin will be looking for a multi-year deal, but I haven’t heard or seen any reports about what Contreras will ask for. Which guy would you go for?

-Update, 6:55 pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says the Phillies are interested in bringing in some cheap bullpen help. He says they are looking at Eddie Bonine of the Detroit Tigers.


Year in Review: Domonic Brown

Posted by Paul Boye, Fri, November 05, 2010 10:30 AM Comments: 38

On a team composed of veterans quickly approaching or comfortably nestled into their 30s, Domonic Brown provided a jolt of youth after his call-up in late July. Unfortunately, due to inconsistent playing time and sparse use off the bench, Dom didn’t contribute much at the Major League level.

But, seeing as this is a Year in Review for a player who will still be considered a rookie in 2011, it’s only fair that we take his whole season into account, and boy, what a season it was!

Entering spring training as one of the best prospects in baseball – in a field that still included the likes of Jason Heyward, Buster Posey, Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Stephen Strasburg, among others – was an excellent start. Buoyed by a strong .318/.391/.602 line at Double-A Reading and the promotions of those ranked above him, Brown quickly found his way to the peak of some midseason prospect lists. All he did for an encore, then, was hit .346/.390/.561 in 28 games for the IronPigs in Triple-A, making him an easy choice for promotion when Shane Victorino hit the DL back on July 28.

Dom’s .210/.257/.355 line in his 70 Major League PAs seems out character, considering his minor league success. He struck out frequently – 24 times in those 70 PA – and is still considered a “work in progress” for 2011. Hey, that’s fine. He’s just 22, has tools and talent that are lauded across the scouting spectrum and, in all likelihood, a seat in right field and the starting lineup that’s being kept warm for him. Those 70 PA aren’t nearly enough to be discouraging, as Brown still has loads of potential. Oh, and did I mention that he’s got a hose? Or, that while his defense is still a bit rough overall, he’s got some legitimate athleticism? I have now, anyway.

Someday, Domonic Brown will be a star for the Phillies. It could be as soon as 2011 or 2012, but there’s little denying the man’s future is bright enough to require Ray-Bans (waiting on the check). So what if 2010 wasn’t a rousing success in very limited time at the Major League level? Dom’s destruction of the Eastern and International Leagues, vaulting to the top tier of prospects and softening the blow of Jayson Werth‘s potential (and likely) departure are plenty enough to merit high marks.

PAUL’S GRADE: 8.9/10

PAT’S GRADE: 7.6/10 – It’s hard to say what his true grade should be. On one hand, he vaulted from Double-A to the majors quickly after tearing up minor league pitching. On the other hand, he didn’t do much once he got here, although he wasn’t given much of a chance because of the outfield logjam. The future is still bright.

NICK’S GRADE: 8/10 This is a year in review piece, and Brown destroyed minor league baseball. While his time with the Phillies was more or less a learning experience, you can’t not grade his season without including his time in the minors this year.


Arizona Fall League a Hot Spot for Future Talent

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, October 29, 2010 07:48 AM Comments: 2

This is the latest post from our minor league writer, Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com

The Arizona Fall League is a place for aspiring Major Leaguers to go to work on their baseball skills in the Autumn months. As the weather begins to cool elsewhere, the diamond stays hot and for many of baseball’s most promising young talents in Arizona.

Rosters in the AFL are a mixture of different organizations’ prospects, with each Major League club sending 7 players that combine to fill up the 35-man rosters of the league’s six teams.

With many of the sport’s top prospects playing in the league annually, the AFL has become a virtual launching pad to the big leagues. Several players from last year’s AFL rosters made their MLB debuts in 2010. The likes of Ike Reese, Mike Leake, Domonic Brown, Starlin Castro, Stephen Strasburg and Buster Posey all made their names known in their respective organization’s cities and around MLB this year.

Certainly not all of this year’s AFL players are gearing up to be playing on their sport’s biggest stage within the next 6-11 months, but it’s a lock that some of them are.
This year, the Phillies’ players are merged with individuals from the Mets, Angels, Pirates and Cubs to complete the Mesa Solar Sox roster.

Mark Parent, a man who has quickly become well liked throughout the Philadelphia organization is the Solar Sox hitting coach. Parent, who in his first season managing affiliated ball, led the Phillies Class A team the Lakewood BlueClaws to a second consecutive South Atlantic League championship in 2010. The former big leaguer has some people close to the organization thinking he is on the fast track upward in the Phils’ system as a coach. Early in the season, Phillies brass mentioned the coaching assignments in the AFL to Parent, who stuck by something he stated when he was hired for the Lakewood job. Upon joining the Phillies organization, Parent told general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that he would do whatever the Phillies asked, and Parent excitedly took the AFL assignment.

“It’s cool. It’s certainly a job I haven’t had. The more jobs you have, and building a resume of some sort, it’s a good thing,” Parent said in an exclusive interview recently.

So, not only is the AFL a place for players to sharpen and develop their skills, it also works as a platform for coaching personnel to do the same.

Catcher Tim Kennelly, first baseman Matt Rizzotti and outfielder John Mayberry Jr. are the offensive Philadelphia properties that Parent is working with closely out in Mesa.

Also on the team are pitchers BJ Rosenberg, Tyson Brummett, Justin De Fratus and Chris Kissock.

Mayberry Jr. saw some action at the Major League level in each of the past two season with the Phillies, but which of the other six Fightins hopefuls would be likely to make a splash with the big club sooner than later? With Matt Rizzotti’s .500 OBP through 7 AFL games, his .343 avg. and .985 OPS in 125 minor league games during the 2010 regular season and a roadblock at his position named Ryan Howard making Rizzotti resemble a delicious trading chip, the best candidate to make his debut in red pin stripes next year is righty reliever Justin De Fratus.

De Fratus, who turned 23-years-old last week, posted a 3-0 record, 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA with 71 strike outs and 16 walks in 65 innings combined at High-A Cleawater and Double A Reading in 2010. De Fratus, who sports a fastball that registers around the 93 MPH mark, was assigned the honor of having best control in the Phillies’ system last off-season by Baseball America. De Fratus, a California native, was an 11th round draft selection in 2007 and is primed to be the hurler that makes big moves in 2011.

Check back for updates and exclusive interviews from the Arizona Fall League in the coming weeks.


Gameday: Phillies (94-64) at Nationals (68-90)

Posted by Michael Baumann, Wed, September 29, 2010 04:53 PM Comments: 0

Philadelphia Phillies (94-64) at Washington Nationals (68-90)

NationalsJoe Blanton (8-6, 4.94 ERA) vs. Ross Detwiler (1-2, 2.52)

Time: 7:05, Nationals Park
Rainy, 66
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Nationals Park is where it all began this season, where the division was won, and, tonight, the Phillies will say goodbye to Washington until next spring. That is, if the rain holds off.

With home-field advantage throughout the playoffs sewn up, the Phillies can afford to take their ease a little bit, as Charlie Manuel proved last night. Last night, Adam Dunn’s walk-off homer helped the Nats to a 2-1 victory over the Phillies’ reserve squad. Tonight is no different, as the Phillies make seven changes from their Opening Day lineup. John Mayberry gets his first start of the year, and Hero of the People Wilson Valdez returns to the lineup in relief of Chase Utley.

That patchwork squad will face lefthander Ross Detwiler, a 24-year-old making his 19th career major league start. Detwiler was picked 6th overall in 2007. In recent years, the Nats have done well drafting pitchers in the high rounds, netting Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen, Chad Cordero, and Jordan Zimmermann in recent years. Detwiler has not been so fortunate, struggling with his control this year. At his best, he’s a finesse lefty in the Cole Hamels mold, mixing in a decent fastball with a change-up for an out pitch, but so far, despite a nearly-even K/BB ratio, Detwiler’s gotten away with it, posting a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings. Pay attention to this guy, because when the Nationals finally put it together in a couple years, Detwiler could be one of their good young arms, along with Zimmermann and Strasburg.

There’s not a whole lot else to say about tonight’s game. Hardly anything is on the line, so sit back, relax, and be glad you’re not out there in that rain.

Today’s lineup: Rollins SS, Valdez 2B, Victorino CF, Sweeney 1B, Francisco LF, Mayberry RF, Dobbs 3B, Hoover C, Blanton P

Nugget NectarYour Gameday Beer – Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest

Today is the 60th birthday of Milwaukee Brewers owner Ken Macha, and in his honor, we’ll give you a seasonal beer from the best of the Milwaukee brewers, Jacob Leinenkugel. Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest is not as highly-touted as, say Sam Adams, but it’s a malty beer that makes you think of football, terrible weather, and pumpkin pie. Enjoy. -Michael Baumann



Gameday: Nationals (53-70) at Phillies (69-53)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sun, August 22, 2010 12:58 PM Comments: 199

Washington Nationals (53-70) at Philadelphia Phillies (69-53)washington-nationals-logo

Scott Olsen (3-5, 5.13 RA) vs. Roy Oswalt (8-13, 3.36 ERA)

Time: 1:35, Citizens Bank Park
Thunderstorms, 81
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Kyle Kendrick was rocked and Stephen Strasburg struck out six in the Nationals’ 8-1 victory last night.  The series is split at a game apiece, but this is a series that the Phillies need to win.  Taking advantage of a last place team certainly helps in the standings.  The Phillies have a good chance with Roy Oswalt on the mound.

Oswalt would like another chance against Washington.  His first start as a Phillie was at Nationals Park, and he did not make the Phillies debut that he would have liked.

When he was a Marlin, Scott Olsen said that he “hates the Phillies.”  He must dispise facing them, since he has a 5.56 earned run average against them.  Olsen has missed some time due to injuries this year, but he has really struggled in the month of August, posting an ERA near 11 in three starts.

The Nationals have not won back-to-back games at Citizens Bank Park since 2005.  The Phillies would like to keep it that way, and boost their playoff chances.

Today’s lineup:Rollins (SS), Ibanez (LF), Polanco (3B), Howard (1B), Werth (RF), Victorino (CF), Ruiz (C), Valdez (2B), Oswalt (P).  Just a scheduled off day for Utley.

Your gamenight beer: Today’s offering is from Harpoon, and it’s Harpoon Munich Type Dark Beer. It’s your typical brown ale: Hoppy, malty, roasted. Toffee-like. Coffee-like. A nice beer to have, and definitely fitting with some ribs. – By Tim



Gameday: Nationals (52-70) at Phillies (69-52)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Sat, August 21, 2010 06:17 PM Comments: 280

Washington Nationals (52-70) at Philadelphia Phillies (69-52)washington-nationals-logo

Stephen Strasburg (5-2, 2.97 ERA) vs. Kyle Kendrick (8-5, 4.45 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Partly Cloudy, 83
CSN Philly
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Roy Halladay hasn’t received a whole lot of run support this year.  The Phillies scored one run yesterday, but Halladay took care of the rest, blanking the Nationals over seven innings.  When Halladay is on the mound, there is a good feeling that the Phillies win.  On the other hand, when Kyle Kendrick pitches, it’s always uncertain as to what type of performance he will have.

The Nationals will send out their young stud, Stephen Strasburg.  If you haven’t heard of this guy, you probably haven’t paid any attention to baseball.  The 22-year old was the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, and his game can’t get any more hyped.  Strasburg throws a 100 mph fastball regularly, featuring a changeup at around 90 mph.  You read that right: a 90 mph changeup.  Regardless, his stuff is electric.

Tonight will be the very first time the Phillies will face Strasburg, but there will be many more meetings between the two.  So far, Strasburg has made two starts since returning from the disabled list with a shoulder injury.  The rookie has been under the spotlight in each and every one of his starts, but so far as yet to disappoint.  He’s the real deal.

Maybe Ryan Howard can greet Strasburg with a long ball.  Howard returns from the disabled list tonight, which is earlier than what was originally expected.

Sweaty Betty BlondeYour Gameday Beer- Sweaty Betty Blonde
This beer is bananas. No, it’s not a banana beer, but it has hints of musty banana bread which believe it or not is a good thing. It’s another good summer beer, an American Pale Wheat Ale that will remind you of a Belgian White. It finishes a little rough, so drink it fast but take some time to enjoy fried chicken with it. – By Brian



Gameday: Nationals (52-69) at Phillies (68-52)

Posted by Amanda Orr, Fri, August 20, 2010 06:22 PM Comments: 152

Washington Nationals (52-69) at Philadelphia Phillies (68-52)washington-nationals-logo

Jason Marquis (0-5, 14.33 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (15-8, 2.24 ERA)

Time: 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
Sunny, 86 Degrees
CSN Philly
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On paper, this is a series that the Phillies should win.  After all, they are playing a last place team.  The Phillies lead the Wild Card and trail the division by 2.5 games, but the Nationals aren’t exactly playing for nothing.  Yes, they are in last place, but compared to last year they have greatly improved.  Who knows, after inking Bryce Harper to a multi-million dollar major league deal and having Stephen Strasburg at the top of the rotation, the Nationals could be a few years away from contending.  But right now they are still bad.  Not quite terrible, but still fairly bad.  They are seven wins shy of matching last year’s win total, and it’s only the middle of August.  They want to finish the year strong, and are now in spoiler mode.

Roy Halladay starts for the Phillies, and it’s pretty well know what he can do on the hill.  He is 6-1 with a 2.43 earned run average in his career against Washington.  Halladay’s opposition is Jason Marquis, who spent most of the season on the disabled list.  He has struggled since returning.  It doesn’t help that he has a 5.51 ERA in his career against the Phillies.

Your gameday beer: Today is a good day to promote a hefeweizen. Here is Penn Weizen by the Pennsylvania Brewery. It carries all the essential hefeweizen ingredients (cloves and fruit), and is an above-average value that sits at a pretty re-drinkable 5 percent alcohol volume. I’d eat a chicken salad sandwich with this one. – By Tim



Gallen of Phils: Blanton Needs a Seat

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, June 14, 2010 12:05 PM Comments: 18

This is a little something I’ll call “Gallen of Phils”.  I’ll do it weekly with things I’ve seen or heard surrounding the Phillies, or any other pertinent baseball information. Thoughts or comments, leave at the bottom or hit me up at Pat@philliesnation.com

1. Joe Blanton is struggling: You already knew this, but it’s worth noting.  This is not the Joe Blanton that we know. It’s also not the same Blanton that signed a three-year, $24 million contract before the season started.  He began the year on the DL with an oblique strain. Is it lingering? My thought: skip Blanton’s next start when possible. If that means whenever J.A. Happ is ready, then so be it. But it looks like Blanton needs a rest and needs to shore up his mechanics. Either that, or, a quick trip to the minors to get his head straight.

2. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”: This is unbelievable news. I’ll be honest, this show hasn’t been as good lately as in the early seasons, but it’s still damn brilliant. And this makes it even better. With that said, here’s Mac’s letter to Chase Utley:

Dear Chase, I feel like I can call you Chase because you and me are so much alike. I would love to meet you some day. It would be great to have a catch. I know I can’t throw as fast as you, but I think you would be impressed with my speed. I love your hair. You run fast. Do you have a good relationship with your father? Me neither. These are all things we can talk about and more. I know you have not been getting my letters because I know you would write back if you did, and I hope you write back this time and we get to be good friends. I am sure our relationship would be a real home run. - Mac

3. Stephen Strasburg is good: Shane Victorino chatted with a few of us before the Marlins game that was eventually rained out and he raved about the young righty after his 14 strikeout performance against Pittsburgh.  He said (and I’m paraphrasing) that he has Ubaldo Jimenez-type stuff. Many are saying the same glowing remarks. With the way the Phillies are hitting recently, I’m not sure the lot wouldn’t want to see this kid, either. However, Strasburg was less impressive in start #2 today against Cleveland.  He only K’d eight over 5 1/3 innings. Do you think the Phillies will have success when/if they see Strasburg this season?

4. Mike Stanton is also good: The 20-year old Marlins outfielder looks to be a star in the making. He has the build to rival Brent Celek up the seam, but he can also hit a baseball as far as I’ve seen in a long time. During his first batting practice last week against the Phillies, Stanton hit back-to-back shots over the Geico sign in left field into the upper deck. Get used to it, we’re going to be seeing a lot of this. How about this: The Marlins could have actually had BOTH Stanton and Jason Heyward in the same outfield, but passed last minute on Heyward in the 2007 draft after believing he would only sign with his hometown Atlanta Braves.  What an outfield that could have been, yikes.


Stud Rookies Join the Ranks of the NL East Today

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, June 08, 2010 02:37 PM Comments: 7

Jayson Heyward is considered to be the front runner for Rookie of the Year – and for good reason. His .266/10/39 stat line is impressive for a 20-year old. His legend grew in his first ever at-bat as he swatted a long home run on Opening Day.

Ike Davis is being hailed as the Mets savior. The 23-year-old has quietly become a budding star in a big city, instantly gaining that status by playing solid defense and helping right the middle of the order for New York. Matt Cerrone of Metsblog.com says Davis “Doesn’t seem like a rookie at all. He’s very poised for such a young player.”

Today, two more heralded rooks will bring their game to the Majors. Both have an outstanding pedigree, both are looked at as the future of their respective franchises.

In Philly, Mike Stanton will be unveiled after belting 21 homers at Double-A.  There was no where else to go but the Florida Marlins starting lineup. He’s also just 20, but brings with him a forceful bat that the Phillies will be seeing for a long, long time.

Down in Washington, at a time where the BP oil disaster is wreaking havoc, and a day after the team selected young masher Bryce Harper with the 1st pick in the MLB Draft, flame thrower Stephen Strasburg will make his Major League debut tonight against the Pirates.  Strasburg bulldozed through Double-A and Triple-A this season, going a combined 7-2 with 65 strikeouts in just 55 1/3 innings.

With those four budding superstars all commencing on the National League East at the same time, the division will never be the same.  Each have a chance to be special and will each be looked upon to change the direction of their franchise (Davis and Stanton a little less so because of David Wright and Hanley Ramirez).

Here in Philly, we’re waiting on our own future-changer, Domonic Brown.  Yesterday, Corey Seidman wrote a very engaging piece on why Raul Ibanez should be let go. The odds of that at this time are very slim, the Phillies believe Ibanez still has plenty left in the tank, however, he makes a solid argument. Waiting in the wings is Brown who is tearing up the Eastern League in Double-A.

Is it time for a youth movement in the outfield here at home as well?  The rest of the NL East is doing it – are the Phillies far behind?  Regardless, we’ll be seeing a lot of these four rookies for the next decade. Heyward and Davis you know.  Strasburg and Stanton, you’ll get to know.

And perhaps sometime soon, we’ll be seeing our very own burgeoning star. The NL East is in very good shape for quite a while with this youth movement.

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